Sunday, December 1, 2013


It is normal for most OB offices to do a routine test called an Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) which checks for certain markers in the baby.  I had mine a few weeks ago and was able to get the results within the following week.

Alpha-fetoprotein Screening (AFP) -- A simple blood test that poses no risk to the fetus, AFP screening measures the levels of alpha-fetoprotein in the mother's blood. Abnormal levels can indicate a brain or spinal cord defect, the presence of twins, a miscalculated due date, or an increased risk of Down syndrome. Since AFP levels can be elevated for a number of reasons, a positive test is usually repeated or followed up by other tests before a diagnosis is made. Very few women with elevated AFP levels are found later to have babies with birth defects

The test was actually really simple and non-invasive, it is a simple blood draw and that is it.  With this test they ask you quite a few questions to best determine what the blood says for results.  Since this is not my baby we just used the age and other information with the Intended Parents and a few questions about me.  They ask how old the egg donor was and that would be the age that my Intended Mother was when they retrieved her eggs.  They ask if there is any history of family genetic anomalies to get a history and go from there.

Results came back all negative for everything!!  This was great news and as for the blood work it proves that the baby is healthy and without any genetic anomalies.  We have our big ultrasound in a few weeks and the parents will decide from there if they want any further testing.

I do have to add that being a phlebotomist I have gotten a few calls from main lab saying such and such patient came back with a positive.  With this particular test if it comes back positive it does NOT mean that your unborn child does indeed have whatever came back positive.  It gives you a number such as 1 in 204 chance of having this, that is not a yes your baby has this anomaly.  If this had come back positive I am certain that my Intended Parents would have requested for me to have an amniocentesis which is a little more invasive and in my eye's can be risky (that is my opinion though).  That is a bit more accurate then the simple blood draw.

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